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Monday, November 5, 2012

THE MONDAY MORNING GOALIE


POSTCARDS FROM SEATTLE


For now the Monday Morning Goalie is more of a photoblog than a column.  Frankly it's all I have time and energy for on a late Sunday night in a Vancouver hotel.   The weekend started out here with Saturday night's Riders-Lions game.  Here's a shot of the pregame warmups from field level...


We couldn't complain about the proximity of the team hotel!  Here's a shot out the window from the sixth floor.  Across the street is BC Place and tucked in behind is Rogers Arena...



Game on in Vancouver!  In case you haven't heard, the Lions won 17-6....



The NHL lockout is hitting Vancouver hard.  Here's the sign outside the Back Forty bar down from the hotel.   I've got plenty of notes on how Vancouver is coping with the lockout but they'll have to wait for another column...



Sunday morning we were up bright and early to head down to Seattle for the Seahawks-Vikings game and a 1:00 kickoff.  Here is Four Seasons Sports Palace owner/manager George Yannitos in front of our ride.  THANK YOU GEORGE FOR TAKING ME ON THE TRIP!!




So much for Sleepless in Seattle.  Here George's son Panniyoitti catches some zzzz's on the ride down....



It was a beautiful drive down.  A two-hour straight shot down the I-5...



The home of the Seahawks, CenturyLink Field.   And Canadians complain about the cost of parking!



The tailgaters were out in full force by the time we got there at 11:00 am...


Popular sports bar Sluggers was lined up down the block...



Finally we got inside.  I checked out our seats in the infamous Hawks Nest before heading to the press box...


A real live NFL press box, just like you see in the movies...



My spot in the press box.  I spent 40 minutes chatting with a longtime NFL scout who had some unflattering things to say about a current CFL GM!  Ask me some time and I'll tell you about it.



Vikings fans will love this.  It wasn't long before I seeked out the Minnesota Vikings radio booth.  The broadcast operator was nice enough to invite inside to meet.....




"P.A." Paul Allen, the finest play-by-play man in football!  Diehard Sports Cage listeners will remember I've had P.A. on the show on multiple occasions and he was nice enough to stop what he was doing and say hi!  For the broadcasters who care, P.A. was dressed in a windbreaker and dress pants.  I notice these sorts of things....



The view from my press box seat just before kickoff.  It was very quiet in there and didn't stay long.  Lo and behold, Roughriders Director of Player Personnel Craig Smith was seated beside me and we had a chat.  He informed me that he was on the first-ever episode of the Sports Cage and hasn't been asked back since!  We'll fix that....


It was too quiet in the press box so I wandered outside to experience the so-called "loudest stadium in the NFL".  As soon as I stepped outside, I was greeted by earsplitting noise.  It was actually painful...



Then it was back up to the Hawks Nest to enjoy the game.   Here are some shots from my seat...



Regina's own Jon Ryan, the Seahawks' punter...



That's our crew.  From left: me, Peter Yannitsos, Panniyiotti Yannitsos, George Yannitos, John Yannitsos and Nick Kourles.  I figured no one would bother me while rolling with five tough Greeks...



Truly anything goes in the Hawks Nest.  I was nearly arrested for jaywalking outside the stadium and got a stern lecture from a not-so-nice police officer.  From there I minded by P's and Q's and actually waited between plays to scramble up to my seat.  The usher yelled "What are you waiting for? Get the hell up to your seat!"  


Everybody was gettin' down in this town....



The Seahawks cheerleaders, the "Seagals", provided lots of entertainment...



What a novel concept.  Check out the sign...



There were close to 70,000 fans in attendance and seemingly only one exit out of the grounds...



Leaving Seattle....



It was a 40 minute wait here at the Canadian border.  Finally we made it home concluding a very long day....
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So that's the weekend in a nutshell.  I'd have to say it could not have gone better and the highlight was, of course, meeting the voice of the Vikings Paul Allen.  Is it the loudest stadium in football?  That's a tough call.  It was loud but on a Saturday night at a soldout Mosaic Stadium when the joint is shaking, I'd have to give the nod to Regina.  But I'm biased.

Like I said I've got a notebook full of comments but I'll save them for later in the week.  Plus, we've got a whole week to get ready for the Roughriders' playoff game at Calgary on Sunday.  I'll leave you with a quote from Rider coach Corey Chamblin when I asked his thoughts on Stampeders running back Jon Cornish saying his guarantee from Week 13 "isn't classy".

"I read what he said," Chamblin told me Saturday morning.  "You tell him all of Canada knows Jon Cornish for what he did.  And in 30 years he'll always remember me and my classiness."

IT'S ON!
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Now it's time to turn out the lights and get ready for an early flight home and Monday's Sports Cage.  It's a Rider Monday which means I'll be joined by our regular Monday guests John Lynch, Phil Andrews, Scott Schultz and Rams QB Marc Mueller.  We'll also be joined in studio by special guest Don Narcisse.

HAVE A GREAT WEEK!
RP

10 comments:

Don Mitchell said...

Looks like you could have a real tumble if you tripped! (or were drunk!)

Anonymous said...

You have to spill about the GM who is not liked! Can't wait to hear the story!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Pix!! Looks like you folks had a great time. I was in Minni for a game back in the 70's.. This Seattle stadium is quite a change from the old Met Stadium in Bloomington!!!!.. Look forward to stories later in the week. Polkabill from Regina.

Anonymous said...

Roughly one girl in that entire press box photo.. sigh.

Anonymous said...

One girl but no women either?

Anonymous said...

Hmm ! there's currently 7 CFL gm's, wonder who the current gm Is who the NFL scout said unflattering things about ? Could It be, would It be someone who has a distinctive losing resume ???? or a Seahawks neighbor...... let us know sometime soon Mr. Pedersen, Thanx.

Anonymous said...

Next time you have to try the Five Points cafe near the spaceneedle. The Deck Hand breakfast comes on 2 plates and beer for $2 micro-brewed pint before 9 am!

Anonymous said...

Agreed, If the CFL still exists In 30 years, some people will remember John Cornish for his record breaking season as a Canadian born professional football player who played for the Stampeders of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, very doubtful anyone will remember who Cory Chamblin was or Is.

Anonymous said...

M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore might have something to say about being the loudest. Remember that Sunday night game from this year where it was clear as day after the fans didn't like a call or calls going their them. They started chanting bullshit. I'm pretty sure the entire city of Baltimore heard that too.

I hope Mr.Ego AKA Jon Cornish gets leveled with a nice clean shot on Sunday that knocks him out cold. Why do people keeping feeding this clown, all it does his boost ego.



dboe said...

Loved the chat on the pregame with Bobby Corman. There might be kinder and classier gentlemen around, but I just haven't met them yet. I am proud to call him a friend...or is that fwend...:)